Reading to Children


Yesterday I posted about reading Fox in Socks for our library’s Seussathon. (I also read The Sneetches and Other Stories, Horton Hatches an Egg, Green Eggs and Ham, and Mr. Brown Can Moo… Can You?)

Reflecting about my long history with Fox in Socks also reminded me how completely part of who I am is a delight in reading to children.

My Mom taught us to read before we were in Kindergarten. But the fact is, with the younger kids, we older ones had a lot to do with that. I learned at a young age that the process of watching a small child learn to read is next to miraculous. And I wanted in on it.

So as a kid, I learned both that being read to is cozy and warm and loving and wonderful, and that doing the reading to a younger child is the same.

Then, of course, I read to my own sons. I married a man who had a wonderful reading aloud voice, and read to the boys as much as I did. (Did I love that about him? Did I actually fall for him when we were reading Winnie-the-Pooh out loud in a group in college? Um, yes I did.)

Now my boys are grown, so there’s no one at home to hold in my lap and read to.

So how lucky am I that I get to do this on my job?!?

Mind you, I’m an introvert. Too frequent programs burn me out fairly quickly. However, the perfect thing about it is that as a manager, I don’t do many programs myself — just enough that I still love it.

Bottom line, I get to read books to children. And I get paid for it. I am a lucky woman!

Tim’s Library


Last week, my son brought home his artwork from 8th grade Art class.  I was especially tickled with his Library Scene.  It was all done with cut construction paper.  The assignment was to make a scene with at least three people.

I especially like the READ poster.  Tim said, “It’s not a library without a READ poster!”

I HAD to bring this picture in to work.  It occupies the proud place of honor on the wall above my cubicle.  I like it a lot!  Tim has certainly spent a lot of time in libraries, so it seems very appropriate.  I also like the kid using a laptop.  (Yes, libraries offer wireless internet, too!)

Sondra Lisa Reading


Today we had some silly fun at the Library.  (It was my boss’s idea!)  Our theme this year is “Master the Art of Reading.”  So we took a poster of the Mona Lisa reading — and cut a hole for kids to insert their face.  Nancy also added words to our display:  Picture Yourself Reading.

We had a lot of fun trying it out!  Unfortunately, I had my camera set on no flash, so most of the pictures taken with it came out blurry.

Anyway, here I am as the Sondra Lisa!

Shelves made from Books! Too Delightful!

Okay, from a Library list, I just discovered the website

Click on “Gallery” and then go to “Funniest Shelves.”  Or use this link:

This artist makes bookshelves–from books!  The titles are part of the fun.  The first “funny” one has a shelf made with “Who Pushed Humpty Dumpty” supported by “All the King’s Men” and “Anatomy of a Murder”–with an eggbeater through it.

This does seem to be a good use for old books that have outlived their traditional usefulness.  He has an entire bookshelf built with an outdated Encyclopedia Britannica set.  I wish I had discovered this site a few weeks ago, when I was still taking Collection Development class.  I would have offered this as a solution for what to do with weeded books!

I did get a pang when I saw a shelf with a carpentry theme.  One of the books, Sawdust in His Shoes, was a children’s book that I loved when I was a kid.  It’s about a circus performer kid who has to leave the circus and can’t stand it–he ends up finding his way back to the circus.  I had forgotten all about that book, but I read it so many times.  I can think of quotations from it even as I write this.  Hmm.  I will get the author off of the picture and see if I can find a used copy.  Or maybe I should buy the shelf!

Thing #15

I’m back to LCPL’s 23 Things program.  Thing #15 is just to read some articles about Library 2.0 and comment on them in your blog.  (That’s what I’m doing!)

I see the lipservice to 23 Things in the official program.  However, I don’t see the library carrying it out.  They’ve set up some things on the official website, but I would like those of us out meeting the public to be encouraged to post about our reading on a blog, or maybe to be able to tag books in our library catalog.

Taking a grad class in Content Representation while looking at Web 2.0 tools is fascinating.  Content Representation talks about metadata–how do we organize information about information?  Tagging is a form of metadata, but on the web in general it’s very nonstandard.  So it’s interesting to see these new tools interacting with libraries, and to think of the possibilities with that interaction.

Meanwhile, I’m making a blog form of my book reviews website, so I can now get comments, and interact more with other people about the books.

A friend of mine talks about limiting her son’s “Screen Time.”  But I think that calling computer time “Screen Time” fails to appreciate that a computer is much, much more than a TV.  Nowadays, computers are about social interaction, about contributing–and getting a response back, about connecting to other people.

And that’s exciting.

Better than LibraryThing?

I just found another site for cataloging your books–  It is positioned as social networking for readers.

It seems very similar to  However–and this is a big however–it doesn’t seem to charge you after you’ve entered 200 books.  It does allow you to post reviews and rate your books and all that good stuff.

I’m curious–Do people out there have an opinion on as opposed to  I’m thinking perhaps I should make a goodreads account and post my reviews to that site as well…  But I will probably only go with one of those two sites, and I already know of a few friends who use librarything.  What do you all think?

Thing #11

I’m back at work, continuing in the “23 Things” program.

For Thing 11, I tried out Library Thing.  My account is at

Library Thing is a site to catalog your library books.  A fun idea!  You can catalog 200 books for free–seems like a kind of piddly amount.  Still, for $25 you can get a lifetime subscription and catalog as many as you want.

One fun thing about this–After cataloging five books, I decided to see what books Library Thing would recommend I should read next.  Sure enough, most of the books listed are ones I already have–and love.  But the first one was new to me–so I’m going to check it out and read it–the comments do make it sound like a book I’d like.

So, the question is:  Is Library Thing worth it for someone who has a bad habit of buying books?  Would I really even begin to get them entered?  Would it maybe embarrass me and help me finally control my book-buying?

I do have my own system of keeping track of my books–and I review everything I read (Well, okay, I’m a year behind–but I try!) on  Library Thing could be interesting in “meeting” people who enjoy the same books, but I’m not sure I have time or interest in keeping it up….  Maybe I will enter some more books, or maybe enter books as I review them, and see what I think.

I Love Libraries!

Today our branch manager mentioned that last month our juvenile circulation was up by 40%.  She said she believed this was because a second children’s librarian and I have been added to the staff.  When the library only had one person in the children’s department, she naturally wasn’t able to keep the children’s desk manned.  Now we have someone sitting among the children’s books almost all the time.

It felt good to be told that my presence has made a difference.  Sometimes I sit back there and feel like I’m only getting the opportunity to smile at babies, hear clever children read, and start the computer for kids.  Fun for me, but is it helping anyone?

But yesterday I got to help a Dad find summer reading books for his first grader.  I got to find more train books for our little friend Miles.  And I even got to help my friend Darlene’s adorable children find books to check out.

(I know my former boss will wonder if the stats are up simply because I use that library now.  However, I’ve been checking out more YA books than Juvenile ones, honest!)

And really, even if I don’t hand them a book, surely it’s a good thing to win the heart of a toddler, as I got the chance to do today, simply by smiling at him.  The mother was one of our many, many immigrant patrons, and I think she felt a little more welcome when I obviously thought her son was adorable.

I do love libraries.  You get to meet parents who care about their kids enough to read to them.  You get to share amazing books with amazing kids.  It was nice to be reminded today how privileged I am to work at a library.  Also nice to hear that my having fun at the library might even be making a difference!

Way Too Funny for an Assignment

For my Resources for Children class, I have to follow the YALSA-Bk List, as well as Joyce Valenza’s blog, Never Ending Search.

Last week, the YALSA List had a link to a hilarious video called “Accio Deathly Hallows”–Hank Green, brother of John Green, the YA author, sang a song about how anxious he was to read the new Harry Potter book.

I already knew a tiny bit about John Green/Hank Green’s blog–at the Printz Awards, I and the rest of the audience said, “Hi Hank!” to a video camera for the blog.  The two brothers decided to communicate only through their video blog for one year.

The song was wonderful!  So I sent a link to my now 13-year-old son. 

My son has spent hours of the last three days (EVEN after getting a Wii!) beginning at the beginning of the video blog and watching every single entry.  He’s up to April.

I watched today’s and think I’m hooked.  Anyone who gets excited about cataloging his home library is my kind of person!

As if that weren’t enough, in Joyce Valenza’s blog, there was a link to some utterly hilarious librarian videos, created by “Dr. Loopy.”  I’ve done some hard laughing tonight.  Is that allowed for a school assignment?

(I’ve added both hilarious links to my Blogroll.)